Earlier this summer I got the chance to meet and photograph UFC Fighter Rose Namajunas for UFC Magazine. We had a good time and was able to get some cool shots but talked right after about meeting up again and just trying to get a bunch more cool shots and pushing the boundaries a bit more. A couple of months passed and we kept in touch then one night I got a text from Pat Barry, Rose’s fiancé and fight partner. In ancipatoon of Rose’s upcoming match and tiring of her hair getting in the way of training, she went and cut it all off! Of course this excited me even more knowing we could really get some cool looks now. I was scheduled to leave town, but I had one free night to get some cool images. Luckily all-star makeup artist Kari Kisch, who also worked with me on the magazine was game work with us and to push everything much farther than we did before. I set up a makeshift studio in my garage and we just started experimenting.
We started out with some more clean looks.
Then we switched our focus to some action fight poses and we got a visitor to the set.
After we got some great shots with this setup I wanted to really experiment and pulled out the smoke machine, some gels and Kari turned the makeup into Mad Max dystopia levels.
I had a blast shooting and all of the images have been very well received so I’m calling this whole experiment a win. Everything was shot on my Phase One P40+ with Profoto B1s for lighting.
Earlier this year I heard from UFC Magazine. Current bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw was going to be training in Colorado for a week and they wanted some shots for an upcoming article. I found out where TJ would be staying and looked for a location around there that I could manage 3 or 4 completely different looks from. With the help of a friend I located an abandoned barn on public land that fit the bill perfect.
TJ was getting into town late in the day and we had just enough time to get going as the sun set. Shooting then let me have quite a few different looks based on the ambient light alone. Before TJ arrived I did test shots with my assistant Stephen of all the shots I wanted to try and get. After reading some interviews with TJ, I really liked his brash, confident attitude and thought a crown would be a good prop to use for the champ.
But first we had to take advantage of what there was left of daylight.
There was a cool looking field next to the barn which had all these great tall thistles.
Once the sun was gone, we moved on to the side of the barn using the awesome old painted wall as a backdrop.
After a quick wardrobe change we looked to capture a little more GQ side of TJ, he’s looking a bit Daniel Craig Bond here.
We were running out of time, so I just wanted to try one more look using some gels for something completely different.
TJ was a great guy to work with and helped us get all this done in a really short time. You can see the shots in the April/May 2015 issue of UFC Magazine and read his incredible story there!
In November I had the chance to photograph MMA fighter, Cat Zingano for UFC Magazine. Cat is fighting for the women’s championship on February 28 against incumbent champ Ronda Rousey and UFC Magazine did a big feature on her. Cat came down to the studio and we did a session there playing with different looks and lighting concepts. Then we took everything outside and got a few more shots on the streets. Cat was great to work with and an amazing person. I definitely recommend checking out the article in the December 2014/January 2015 issue of UFC Magazine and reading about her inspiring story.
Camera Nerd Info:
Phase One 640 DF+ / P40+, Schneider 80mm LS, 55mm LS lenses PCB Einsteins with various modifiers.
Last month I flew to Florida with AGD to shoot images for Beast Sports. It was a grueling few days with call times starting at 5:30-6am and usually lasting editing and planning for the next day past midnight. We shot mornings on the beach and afternoons in the gym. You can see all the photos in action on the new amazing website http://beastsports.com/ designed by Andon Guenther Design.
Camera Nerd Info:
Phase One 640 DF+ with P40+ back and Schneider 55mm & 80mm LS lens Gym shots: 3 PCB Einsteins with reflectors & soft box. Outside shots: 2 PCB Einstein with reflectors & soft box.
Every once in a while I go through my archives looking for any good photos that I missed after I made selections. I usually find one or two overlooked gems that sometimes I like more than my original selects. With these shots, I was anxious to try some new post techniques as well and give a new look to some older shots. I found this Colin Kaepernick image and it was just the look I wanted for my idea.
And just because I’ve always wanted to do one of these process gifs.
A couple of weeks ago myself and Andon of AGD went up to Keystone to experiment with some slope-side portraits up at the beautiful Keystone Resort. It had been a few years since I hit the slopes so skiing down the mountain with my big Phase One camera in hand was pretty intimidating to start.
Once we got used to the elements, we started having fun and getting some great shots. The 1/1600 second sync speed on my 80mm Schneider leaf shutter lens was invaluable in freezing the snow and darkening the background while keeping the depth of field nice and shallow.
At the end of the day the snow started coming down hard and we rushed out to get back to Denver. Andon took home an awesome ice beard.